In the space of a single year, my canny, clever chum Cyrus Todiwala has gone from harbouring a pipe dream of his own Goan restaurant to adding two to his ever-growing empire; London’s Assado, which brings the cuisine’s fiery flavours to Britain, and The River Restaurant – a venue that’s actually located in India’s smallest state.
After a frantic few months launching the latter, you’d think he’d take a well earned break…. Except for the none-too-small fact that March marks the former’s first birthday. The idea of Assado was always to assimilate the great tastes of Goa into tasty tidbits from all over the world – much in the manner that the innovative Indian cuisine has always adopted and adapted flavours from visitors and settlers; friends and foes.
Goa’s gastronomy is influenced by the Portuguese palate and has a fair bit of Brit, too; making Cyrus’s decision to spice up the Sunday roast most in keeping with the natural evolution of the cuisine in question. And if anyone can Indianise the very British meal, it’s surely Cyrus. After all, this is the man who, in his ‘Incredible Spiceman’ incarnation alongside Tony Singh, chucked chilli and cinnamon on a Mr. Whippy.
It seems strange that no-one’s slipped some spice into a Yorkshire pudding batter before now, but Cyrus is certainly one of the first to serve it up for Sunday lunch with meaty mains like honey, ginger and rosemary-infused chicken, the platter preceded by soup that’s souped up with some more of the man’s magical masala.
The spicing up doesn’t stop with savouries – good puds worth saving space for include vanilla and cardamom crème caramel and apple and pear crumble with nutmeg ice cream. The entire extravagant feast costs less than £15, and, should you indulge often enough, you might even earn yourself a few pounds; albeit on your hips rather than in your wallet.
Sundays also see free desserts presented to tables who’ve already indulged in both starters and mains. But if you (like Nana Mouskouri, perhaps) visit Waterloo ‘Never on a Sunday’, never fear, for Assado’s anniversary antics bring benefits during the week, too. The promise of 25% off a food bill is enough to turn the very bluest Monday into a red letter day; whilst a bargainous £5 Bombay beef burger should be the lunch you choose from Tuesday to Thursday.
For further menu steer, see here…
What to order when you want to go Goan
Prawn rissoles: Assado’s own version of Goa’s ‘rissois’ – tiny, crisp-crumbed fried pies with a creamy filling.
Lamb xacutti: This complex curry offers a rare chance to relish the real-deal recipe, involving 21 ingredients.
Bebinca: A labour-intensive, many-layered crepe cake that’s rich with coconut and egg yolks.
What to order when you fancy fusion
Potato, leek and spinach soup: A subtly-seasoned bowlful brimming with well-loved European ingredients.
Bombay beef burger and chips: The American (and now British) favourite, with a trademark Todiwala twist.
Mango coconut cheesecake: Rich and creamy; tangy and totally tropical; downright decadent.
And whichever day you visit and whatever you eat, just be sure to treat all at Assado to the most rousing rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ your lungs can muster this March!
- Assado, 157 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8XA | assado.co.uk | T: @AssadoWaterloo | FB: assadowaterloo
- To read an interview with Cyrus about Assado, click here
- To read about The River Restaurant in Goa, click here
- To read about Pervin Todiwala’s many and varied achievements, click here
- To read more about Goan food, click here and here